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A Review of Basic Laws Governing Title to Real Property and Local Recording Systems, and Their Impact on Mineral Title Examination

Timothy C. Dowd, Mineral Title Examination (2007)

Though a deed may contain many other clauses, generally, the only requirements are a) words of grant, b) parties to the grant, c) description of the premises, and d) signature of the party to be charged.8 Although acknowledgments are requirements for a deed to be recorded, they are not generally essential for the validity of the conveyance.9

Two other elements that are mentioned to be essential are delivery and acceptance.

Although the intention of the parties to a deed will be given effect if this can be done consistently with the rules of law, generally, the operation of a deed on the legal title is governed by law and is not controlled by such intention. The courts keep in mind, however, the primary purpose and effect of a deed is to transfer title to real property, or the incidents flowing from title, or some right, such as possession, which depends on title.10

A complete and delivered deed has the effect of transferring the grantor's title, or so much thereof, as the deed purports to convey, to the grantee, and divesting the grantor thereof. The grantor may, of course, convey whatever part of his interest in land he chooses to convey where no principle of law prevents him from doing so.11

The question of the operation of a deed executed by a grantor having an undivided fractional interest in a tract of land to convey all or part of his f